Middle School News

A Declaration of Culmination
Communications
Middle School student sharing his culmination projects with family

Fifth- and sixth-grade students and faculty gathered in the Hillsborough GCC on Friday, January 19, to celebrate a culmination of work they completed in the fall. One hallmark of the evening was how the arts were integrated across disciplines. From fifth-grade math projects to sixth-grade writing, students shared work that drew on skills, habits of mind, and content addressed in all of their classes.  

Many sixth-grade students were excited to demonstrate their practiced writing and speaking skills. Throughout the fall, students in Gary Kaplan’s humanities classes used the structure and form of the Declaration of Independence to create their own personal Declarations of Independence. Each speech included a preamble, list of grievances, and formal statement of independence. While many students shared that they were nervous, they also understood the importance of practicing public speaking.

The fifth grade kicked off the evening by staging a protest of sorts on the stage of the GCC. Each student walked across the stage carrying a poster with political art that expressed something they cared deeply about. Many posters were full of peaceful statements — expressing their hopes for a better future and desire for social equity. At the center of the stage, each student stopped to deliver a short speech explaining their poster and its significance to their life.

In the library, fifth-grade math students had beautiful, creative, data-rich work on display for their parents and peers. Each student spent weeks collecting data about sleep, afterschool habits, homework, and food in attempt to simultaneously examine their habits and put their data analysis skills into real-world practice. Inspired by the book Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, math teachers Carolyn Gray and Lissie McAlvey created a project that extended into writing and arts class. Sculptures, creative graphs, and journals full of their work were arranged on the tables for attendees to explore. This work will be explored in an upcoming Visible Learning Project display.

Sixth grader Ludmila N. was thrilled about her science project, which focused on an experiment involving different types of sugar. She was most nervous about her public speaking opportunity in humanities, but acknowledged, “I do see the importance of learning to speak in front of groups of people.” Ludmila started her speech by challenging the audience to consider if we should treat all animals with the same love and care we show our pets. Despite her nerves, she delivered a memorable and powerful statement about her beliefs.

On the morning following culmination, Gary sent an email out to his colleagues that said, “I could not have been prouder of our sixth graders last night during our humanities culmination sessions. Their individual presence in front of the audiences was exceptional. I wish you all could have been there!”

 

5th and 6th Grade Culmination 2018

 

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January 24, 2018

 



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Eighth graders dressed in suits meet with their friends on graduation day

On Friday, 86 eighth graders and their families gathered at Nueva's Hillsborough campus for one final celebration before advancing to high school (and beyond!).

The eighth-grade class of 2018 worked tirelessly to present, rhyme, and sing their appreciations of Nueva in 100 words or less. Together they reminisced over their completed STARPAP projects, painted exquisite literary memories of the Yosemite trip, and delivered clever, pithy speeches in true Nueva fashion.

Middle School Head Liza Raynal concluded her own 100-word address with, "Each student's speech will centuplicate the reasons why we are so proud to be the adults in their lives."

Middle School Students Host Nueva's First-Ever Hackathon

On Saturday, April 28, two Nueva middle school students hosted the first-ever Nueva Hackathon, a design event where people interested in computer programming and software development collaborate intensively to create usable software over a short period of time. This all-inclusive event was the brainchild of middle-schoolers Yash N. and Taher V., who organized the Hackathon with Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla, who was one of the presenters amongst the 60 participants and attendees.

GoBabyGo! Students Engineer Vehicles to Mobilize Toddlers

Nueva middle school students learn by caring in Christine Braun's robotics class. In December 2017, Chris, the shop manager & I-Lab engineer, met with the Los Angeles chapter of GoBabyGo! — a University of Delaware-based program dedicated to mobilizing young children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, and posture affecting more than 200,000 children each year, and there is no known cure. Chris brought her inspiration to Nueva and recently led a team of middle school students in the design, construction, and delivery of the school’s first car to a GoBabyGo! family.

Middle School student sharing his culmination projects with family

Fifth- and sixth-grade students and faculty gathered in the Hillsborough GCC on Friday, January 19, to celebrate a culmination of work they completed in the fall. One hallmark of the evening was how the arts were integrated across disciplines. From fifth-grade math projects to sixth-grade writing, students shared work that drew on skills, habits of mind, and content addressed in all of their classes.  

Commodities and Conflict: Biennial World's Fair Inspires Conversation

What do salt, chocolate, gold, and tobacco have in common? Each commodity is both treasured by the western world, and is often found at the center of conflict within its place of origin. Every two years, Nueva’s seventh- and eighth-grade students present the World’s Fair, the pinnacle of a semester–long dive into an issues of globalization. This year, students researched the international conflicts that arise as a result of sourcing high-demand commodities.

Culminations Showcase Students' Creativity

Students shared various creative projects during the recent arts and electives culminations on both campuses. Nueva students led family members and friends on tours of their coursework and shared musical performances, designs, robotics projects, chemistry experiments, and more.